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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

About the affidavit

About the Wayback Machine

About the affidavit

Do I really need an affidavit from the Internet Archive?

Please consider alternatives to an affidavit from the Internet Archive. Judicial notice and stipulation to a document's authenticity are two typical and straightforward options that might be used instead of an affidavit. Since our resources are limited, we urge you to pursue these alternatives before coming to us with authentication requests.

What does your standard affidavit look like?

You can see our Model Affidavit.

Can the affidavit be notarized?

If you would like your affidavit notarized, please add $100 to payment, and note it in your request.

Can I subpoena someone to testify to the authenticity of the URLs in the Wayback Machine?

The Internet Archive would prefer if you didn't, and will most likely fight it. The Internet Archive is a small non-profit, and taking a member of the team for even a few days significantly effects what the Archive is trying to accomplish. Please consider alternatives to subpoenaing someone from the Internet Archive, including using the standard affidavit or judicial notice.

My request is urgent! Can the Internet Archive provide the documents and affidavit immediately?

No. Unfortunately, given the number of information requests the Internet Archive receives, it is not practical for us to provide expedited/priority processing.

However, you may provide us with a FedEx account number for sending your documents and affidavit and specify a rush option (e.g., "Standard Overnight"), which may speed up your wait time (otherwise, we will send your affidavit via regular mail).

Can the Internet Archive change its standard affidavit to fit my needs?

The Internet Archive may be willing to change its standard affidavit according to particular needs, on a case by case basis. However, if we agree to make such changes, you will be required to reimburse the Internet Archive for its related attorney fees as we ask our attorneys to review and negotiate any changes to the standard affidavit. If you wish to inquire further about this possibility, please contact us via email at affidavits@archive.org

Does the Internet Archive's affidavit mean that the printout was actually the page posted on the Web at the recorded time?

The Internet Archive's affidavit only affirms that the printed document is a true and correct copy of our records. It remains your burden to convince the finder of fact further regarding the presence of past online material.

Can the Internet Archive provide all pages from a specified domain?

The Internet Archive does not accept requests that only asks for all pages at given domain or all archives for a given original URL. You must provide us with a list of extended URLs (i.e., the full URL that appears in the Address field of your browser for each Wayback Machine record needed). The extended URL must come from the Internet Archive's Wayback Machine and not the live web. For example, www.archive.org/movies/index.html is not an extended url, but http://web.archive.org/web/20010812000355/www.archive.org/movies/index.html is. Please see our Information Request Policy for more details.

Does the Internet Archive limit the number of documents I can request at one time?

The Internet Archive will respond to reasonable requests for documents. If you request a substantial number of documents, the Internet Archive may contact you and ask that you reduce your request, and/or the turnaround time on your request may be longer than typical. Please remember that every request puts a strain on the Internet Archive's limited resources and small staff, and therefore request only those documents which you believe are absolutely necessary to your case. In addition, the Internet Archive reserves the right to decline any request it deems to be unreasonable.

Does the Internet Archive guarantee a turnaround time for responses to requests?

No. The Internet Archive strives to respond to requests within fifteen business days of receipt of payment, but that timeframe is not guaranteed.

When I send my payment, how will you know that my payment relates to my request?

If you are sending a check, please also include a copy of your request in the envelope with your check as well as an email address where we can contact you. If you are sending payment via PayPal, please email affidavits@archive.org immediately after sending your payment notifying the Internet Archive that you have just sent payment and identifying your request sufficiently for the Internet Archive to understand to which request you are referring.

Where do I send questions about your information request policy?

Questions should be sent via email to affidavits@archive.org .

Will the Internet Archive take a position in my legal dispute?

The Internet Archive strives to be a disinterested third party in all disputes involving its collection items, including Wayback Machine archives.

I need an affidavit for a case taking place outside of the United States.

Internet Archive can provide you with authenticated documents and an affidavit in accordance with our U.S. policy with the following adjustments:
-If you cannot provide the archive with an account number to which shipment of the documents can be charged, the archive will typically charge an additional $50-$100 depending on the size of your request.
-Internet Archive will strive to have your documents printed in 15 business days after payment is received, however transit time to you is not guaranteed.
-Internet Archive will accept international wire transfers for international cases only at no expense to the archive; any unexpected wire transfer fees must be paid by you.

Please remember that the Internet Archive's affidavit only affirms that the printed document is a true and correct copy of our records. It remains your burden to convince the finder of fact further regarding the presence of past online material. Additionally, the Internet Archive does not automatically notarize affidavits; this is an additional $100 charge.

About the Wayback Machine

How can I tell when the pages from the Wayback Machine were archived?

The Internet Archive assigns a URL to each archived page on its site in the format http://web.archive.org/web/[Year in yyyy][Month in mm][Day in dd][Time code in hh:mm:ss]/[Archived URL]. Thus, the Internet Archive URL http://web.archive.org/web/19970126045828/http://www.archive.org/ would be the URL for the record of the Internet Archive home page (http://www.archive.org/) archived on January 26, 1997, at 4:58 a.m. and 28 seconds (1997/01/26 at 04:58:28). Typically, a printout from a Web browser will show the URL in the footer.

If a website is designed with "frames," the date assigned by the Internet Archive applies to the frameset as a whole, and not the individual pages within each frame.

Are all the pages associated with a site archived on the same date?

Most often, this is not the case and the specific dates available for subpages of a given site will vary. If a user searches for a URL in the Wayback Machine and loads an archived page for a particular date, and then clicks on a link to a new URL on that page, the Wayback Machine will search the archives for the new URL and may load an archive from a new date or time. The Wayback Machine is designed to serve the record from the closest available archive time to that of the file that clicked link appeared within.

For example, a user starts on this page:

http://web.archive.org/web/20000408174945/http://www.archive.org/

which is the April 8th, 2000 version of archive.org

Then the user clicks on the "In the Collections" link:

http://web.archive.org/web/20000606211051/http://www.archive.org/collections/index.html

note that the date for this page is June 6th, 2000

How can I tell what date a particular image was archived?

The date assigned by the Internet Archive applies to the HTML file but not to image files linked therein. Thus images that appear on the printed page may not have been archived on the same date as the HTML file. If you would like to find out when a particular image was archived, right-click on the image and select "open image in new tab [or window]". You can also select "copy image location", open up a new tab or browser window and paste in the url. Once the image opens, look at the URL in your browser's address bar to see the timestamp for the archived image.

I clicked on an archived link and ended up on the live web. What happened?

The Wayback Machine does its best to allow temporal browsing. If a user enters a URL into the Wayback Machine and clicks on a date, that date is only for that page. If a user then clicks on a link on an archived page to continue browsing, and the link is not available, sometimes the Wayback Machine will redirect to the live web. Please understand, we will not accept a request for files that are not archived.

I've surfed to http://web.archive.org/web/20000706194131/www.archive.org/news/index.html , how do I find out what dates are available?

Replace the date code with a *, and the Wayback Machine will display all dates for that URL:

http://web.archive.org/web/*/www.archive.org/news/index.html

What is a frames site, and how do I go about authenticating archived frames pages?

General information on frames sites can be found on the web. Typically, frames sites have a side menu bar that doesn’t reload when you click on a button, only the content in the middle does. You can also "view page source" on your browser and check the source html for the words "frame" or "frameset".

Since the time stamp on a frames site refers to the parent frame only, it would be in your best interest to also request authentication of the child pages. The date on these child pages can be found by right clicking anywhere in the child frame and opening it in a new window by itself.

Does the fact that a particular URL is not in the Wayback Machine on a particular date mean the page did not exist on that date?

The fact that a URL from a particular date is not accessible via the Wayback Machine only means that the page is not archived in the Wayback Machine. It does not mean that the page did or did not exist on that date. The Wayback Machine does not contain copies of every page that ever existed on the Internet.